Ghosts. So don’t you say……

I don’t believe in ghosts. Not in shadowy figures that suddenly appear out of the gloom. Nor in people who have died hanging around to watch over us. Which is not to say I don’t think there is something after death; just not that sort of in-between thing. Yet something that happened this morning makes me wonder.

On a train into central London. (Waterloo for those who know London). When I have been particularly ill with PTSD being on a train, especially a busy one, is something of an ordeal. The only thing I have found that makes it bearable is to plug myself into my ipod with noise cancelling headphones and keep my eyes firmly shut for the entire journey. It’s become fairly standard for me now. I haven’t been in a good place recently so it was essential for this morning’s trip. So it was, except this morning I got an urge to open my eyes at one point. We were stationary and I was looking at an obscured view of a large hospital that is on the immediate approach to Waterloo. This put in my mind the memory of an old friend. Then immediately, by association, another dear old friend. She has been very much in my mind of late. Through my most recent PTSD and depression and the processes and consequent actions of that. Especially she has been there these past few days because I told more of her story than I ever done and doing so has had quite a profound effect on me. All of which may not be especially significant. Except that I had my ipod on shuffle and at that precise moment the song with the lyrics I have copied below started playing. There is so much resonance there relating to that person. First, and most obvious, right from the first line; we watched more than one dawn together. Not literally from the gutter but figuratively it could be said so. Not a gutter of either of our making. I am tormented often by the thought I did things wrong (bad move) at that time. The lines about dear friends no longer knowing you is so relevant to me. It is something that, whatever the reasons for it, that hurts me deeply. It has certainly been very much at the forefront of my mind and a contributory factor in recent events that led to my hospitalisation. The verse about being stuck behind a door and shadows chasing you in dreams; so very relevant to PTSD. In my case a PTSD that relates in part to being trapped. The dreams and flashbacks are not true, of course, but they certainly feel that way. Then the last two verses, such a message of hope. A message I am trying to see but struggle with to a great degree at times.

Logically I think this is a coincidence even if a very big one. But a part of me wonders. And hopes.

You’ve been watching dawn from the gutter
Trading one bad move for another
It’s been a stormy night but it’s almost through

Friends you once loved don’t know you
Even your own eyes don’t know you
You think this whole world’s trying to bury you
But it’s not true

So don’t you say
There’s something in your core that can’t be saved
Cause it’s not true
And every atom of my heart is missing you

Well it’s OK to be scared when
You’re stuck behind a door that won’t open
The shadows in your dreams that are chasing you
They’re not true

So don’t you say
There’s something in your core that can’t be saved
Cause it’s not true
And every atom of my heart is missing you

The good will come through
I wish that you could feel it the way you used to
I wish you could believe it the way you used to
The way you used to


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